The Balkans as a Temporal Denominator – The Discourse of Balkanism in Serbian Archaeology

  • Staša Babić Department of Archaeology Faculty of Philosophy University of Belgrade
  • Zorica Kuzmanović Department of Archaeology Faculty of Philosophy University of Belgrade
Keywords:
discourse of Balkanism, continuity of autochthonous culture, stylistic archaism/cultural conservatism, the Balkans, archaeological conceptions of time

Abstract

The idea of universal linear course of time is an important element of the basic framework of reference of the archaeological research into the past. However, even the fundamental theoretical premises of the discipline, such as the conceptualization of time, may be changed and differently interpreted, depending upon the social and cultural context of research. The history of archaeology in Serbia testifies that, contrary to the generally implicit linear course of time, the regional past is seen as a series of repetitions, stagnations and detours, implying the assumption of a different, a-historical course of time in the Balkans. This narrative is especially noticeable in the works dealing with the role of the Classical Greek-Roman civilization in the Balkan past. The ambivalence of the leading narratives in Serbian archaeology towards the presumed sources of the European culture corresponds to the images of the Balkans identified by M. Todorova as the discourse of Balkanism.

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Published
2015-09-15

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